The Internet’s Archives Are Being Deleted as Users Scramble to Save What They Can

A common adage that people often refer to is that anything that you put on the internet is likely going to stay there forever. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it seems that the internet is being purged, which means that all of the memories that people were hoping to hold on to suddenly seem less safe than might have been the case otherwise.

A recent tweet that was put out by outgoing Twitter CEO Elon Musk stated that his company will be purging so called inactive user accounts. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that only accounts that have remained unused for a period of several years will end up being purged, but this still raises the question of how safe your data will be in the long run.

However, this is not the only thing that is prompting internet historians and archivers alike to attempt to save whatever they can. Imgur recently stated that it will be deleting all content that is pornographic in nature, but it will also be removing content that is unused, excessively old or belongs to accounts that have lain dormant for an extended period of time.

Some are comparing these events to the burning of the Library of Alexandria or the Baghdad House of Wisdom because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up removing important information and cherished memories.

Content that was posted a long time ago might not be as obsolete as these companies are assuming. Many are pointing to old pictures posted on Imgur that still get interacted with, and that is just one of the many examples of content that people might want to preserve with all things having been considered and taken into account.

One thing to note here is that this is by no means a new issue. Link rot has been a problem for quite some time now, with old websites that could no longer afford to pay server rates ending up on the chopping block. Saved tabs and the like have become obsolete so frequently that storing the data however you can might be a useful thing to try to do.

There are many ways in which users can elect to preserve content that means a lot to them. Saving images on their own devices is a great way to make sure that you can access this content in the future, and you should also back your devices up just in case you lose that data due to unforeseen accidents.

While cloud storage can help you in these situations, it is essential that you don’t rely solely on it. It’s best to diversify the cloud storage options that you end up using, since even though the companies that own these platforms are not in danger of closing up shop, you never know when things might go sideways.

All in all, the internet’s status as an archive of history is quickly starting to come under threat. Twitter and Imgur’s recent announcements are just the tip of the iceberg and point to greater deletions down the line.

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